Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) hosted the second debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Commonly referred to as “Thrill in the ‘Ville II” (since they hosted the single Vice Presidential debate in 2000 between Senator Joe Lieberman and former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney,) the one-and-a-half hour table discussion between current Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican opponent Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was definitely one for the books.
The setting for the debate was a bit more laid-back; instead of the format where both candidates stand several feet away at podiums, the Vice Presidential one was set at a table. Biden and Ryan sat just a few feet from each other with the moderator, ABC News’ Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, in between but with her back facing the audience. It was sort of a more casual atmosphere without considering the speaking and conversation itself.
Those on the left were patiently waiting with their fact-checkers nearby for any and all statements made by Ryan, Governor Romney’s running mate. While, on the other side, Republicans were on the lookout for any slip-up that Biden might make.
Mariah Couture, freshman and Interior Design major, is a registered Democrat and will be voting for President Obama and Vice President Biden because she supports “their views and believe they are taking our country in the right direction.”
When asked if the Vice Presidential debate changed her perception or opinion of the race, Couture replied “not really, but I feel these debates are not big ‘game-changers.’” Whether or not this is the case is still to be determined for when the election comes around in just about three weeks.
During the debate, Biden was seen outright laughing at some of Ryan’s statements. At one point, Ryan made a comment on the situation that arose in early September in northern Africa with the attacks on the American embassy and how the Obama Administration mismanaged the situation by not handling it with the best interest of Americans at heart.
Biden responded that claim with one of his own politely replying “with all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.” After the Vice President said this, searches on Google for the word “malarkey” went up over 20 percent. Throughout the debate it seemed, Biden refuted Ryan’s statements, called them false, and then proceeded to explain how.
In the end, many people on each side called the debate a win for their own respective candidate. Republicans said it was a tough win for Ryan, while Democrats were labeling it a proud victory for Biden.
Grant Weaver, a sophomore majoring International Affairs, said he believes “that Vice President Biden won because [he] was active throughout and was using the facts well to respond to what Ryan said.”
Weaver, admittedly a proud Democrat, was glad “to see how passionate he was,” and “[the] fact that he was laughing and threw his hands up in the air made him more relatable to me, because I was doing the same thing.”
He was so confident in Biden’s performance that it had no impact at all on Weaver’s views of the election. Weaver said “it didn’t change who I was voting for, as I’m a longtime Obama supporter,” and it did make him want to donate to the campaign.
Sarah Lassow, a Creative Writing major and freshman, says she felt “like [Representative] Paul Ryan was being hypocritical based on background information and about what he spoke on during the debate. And Biden was very rude for laughing and interrupting.”
Lassow, a registered Independent, also mentioned she is considering and planning on voting to reelect the President.
After the Vice Presidential debate, the rest are both for Obama and Romney. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, there was a Town Hall-style debate moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley and held at Hofstra University in New York. The last one, which will be in Boca Raton, FL. at Lynn University, will be on Monday, Oct. 22. Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS, will be the moderator and the sole topic for the debate is foreign policy. The final debate is only fifteen days prior to Election Day which falls on Nov. 6.